Closet Cleaning 101

Lately I find myself wanting to rid myself of a lot of clothing in my closet.

Maybe it’s because it’s a new year. Or maybe because by this time, I’ve finally embraced the whole quality over quantity thing. Besides, it is altogether true that there is truth to that 80/20 rule – you wear 20 percent of your clothing 80 percent of the time – so who needs all those shirts/pants/dresses/shoes/boots/sandals/sneakers anyway??

Yet each time I attempt to edit my closet I end up frustrated and feeling like a failure. “I need that,” I tell myself when I consider ditching the black sweater (another black sweater?) I never wear. “I can’t get rid of this,” I insist, when I run my hands over the smooth velvet of the green embellished jacket I fell in lust with ten years ago.

But that ‘someday’ never seems to come and my closet remains a storehouse for many unworn, unloved items, silently jeering at me each time I dare to enter.

I recently met image consultant Carol Davidson. Every time I meet someone like Carol, I want to kidnap them and lock them in my house for a couple of weeks, so they can help me get over my closet conundrum once and for all. People like Carol have a special knowledge and knack for simplifying their lives by knowing just the right thing to keep in their closets, and always seem to have the perfect thing to wear no matter what the occasion. They embrace fashion and love to spread the word.

But rather than kidnap her and end up in jail in an orange jumpsuit not having to worry about my wardrobe at all, I decided to enlist her help via a phone conversation and subsequent follow-up.

“The less you own, the more you wear what you have,” Carol explained,  “and the lower each item’s cost-per-wear.”

I totally get that, and am a fan of Carol’s advice on what she calls “Fashion Mathematics” – what to add and what to subtract from your closet so you can streamline and simplify your wardrobe.  Once you’ve done a bit of editing (meaning clearing out those things you no longer like or have use for), she said, you’ll be able to see, at a quick glance, how many essentials are already in your closet – plus, you’ll have a clearer picture of what you need to add.

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